Our evening started out like any other date night. My husband, John, and I were looking forward to having some time to ourselves.
With four kids ages eight and under, we tried to find creative ways to have an inexpensive night out. Sometimes we took a nice long drive into the country, took a walk in a park (preferably by body of water), or simply had a meal at a favorite restaurant. This night we didn’t have anything in mind.
We got the kids settled with the sitter and headed out the door. That’s when we noticed it. A flyer with strange looking animals on it. It appealed to my husband because he had always been interested in science fiction. As we read the information, we became very interested in attending these free meetings.
There had been years of searching – for what we weren’t certain. John grew up a Presbyterian and I grew up a Lutheran. We were married in a Methodist Church, had attended Catholic guitar masses, and were currently members of an Evangelical Free Church. I had prayed for a year that my husband would give his heart to Jesus as I had when my oldest son was just a baby. John always went to church with me but was bored and uninterested. He was heavily involved in martial arts, and I was quite concerned about his salvation.
Then it happened. He accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. We had traveled to a small town in Nebraska where a friend from his martial arts class gave his personal testimony. This made a great impact on him. That’s when the startling, God-inspired changes began to happen. One week he stated we should only listen to Christian radio stations. The next week he wanted to pray together every night. Next, he insisted we have family devotions daily with the kids. God was certainly working in amazing ways. As a family, we began a closer walk with the Lord and our search continued.
Our First Time In An Adventist Church
Arriving at the address printed on the flyer, we walked hesitantly into the church. The people, however, were very friendly. They gave us a Bible to look up texts and follow along with the speaker. Evening after evening we attended the meetings learning amazing things about God’s Word that we had never heard. We were introduced to the Adventist Remnant messages. After purchasing the audio tapes, we listened to them again and again. It took me longer to accept these truths, especially the Sabbath, than it did for John. We teased each other that my prayers brought him to God, but that his brought me to the Sabbath.
That flyer was placed on our front door in 1992. We were soon baptized as members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. However, during all this time, we never discovered how that flyer ended up on our front door. We repeatedly asked if anyone had canvased our area before the meetings, but to no avail. We truly believed that it was an angel of God. A miracle in our minds.
Connecting The Dots!
It wasn’t until the summer of 2008 that the mystery began to unfold. We were challenged by the personal ministry leader to invite a family over for lunch. We chose two couples to join us because they were always serving others and were very deserving of an invite.
After lunch, we settled in the living room to share our testimonies on how each of us had come to the Adventist faith. I shared our story of the mysterious flyer placed on our door and the evangelistic meetings at this same church that had changed our lives. It was then that my friend, Debbie, looked at me and stated that in 1992 they lived only a few blocks from our house. She and her young son had taken flyers and hung them on doors in the neighborhood. Even though the meetings were already half over, they prayed that God would touch someone’s heart. That someone was us! After 16 years of being Adventists, God revealed to us the mystery of who had placed that flyer on our door. They weren’t angels but ordinary people doing His extra-ordinary work to win souls to the truth.
Ellen G. White states in Christian Service, page 145:
“Let every Seventh-Day Adventist ask himself, “What can I do to proclaim the third angel’s message?”
Christ came to this world to give this message to His servant to give to the churches. It is to be proclaimed to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. How are we to give it? The distribution of our literature is one means by which the message is to be proclaimed. Let every believer scatter broadcast tracts and leaflets and books containing the message for this time.”
If you have any doubts whether literature evangelism works, we are living examples of its positive results. Whether it is an evangelistic flyer, a tract, a pamphlet or a book, God will use the simple work of handing it out to reach others to the glory of His Kingdom, the spreading of His truth, and the saving of souls.
Karen M. Phillips is happily married to her husband, John, and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She is a Human Resources Manager, an ASI Mid-America Officer, and a Bible teacher. Together they support their world-wide ministry – HeReturns. She writes from Omaha, Nebraska, USA.